Thursday, 24 February 2011

Seesaw seating plan tip of the month

Top tip - Ran out of brown wool on your knitting machine? Use your boyfriend's sentimental childhood cassettes.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The importance of pop up tents

This morning I had a conversation with a friend of mine that's just been discharged from a Butlins ward (in the old days they used the term "released" but then they also drilled into our brains and bathed us in ice-cubes). She told me that she found the ward so dirty that she got out her credit card and the Argos catalogue - which is book shelf reading material in these places along side theYellow Pages - ordered a pop up tent and got it delivered to the ward where she set it up in the corridor outside the ward (voluntary patients are often allowed to leave the ward unaccompanied (or in the old days "unchained")until sufficient cleaning was in place. It's funny how staff - cleaners, nurses, managerial - are more than often either off sick, on leave (seriously - how much leave do the NHS get?) or "on a break" in some of those places. What frustrates me when I've been admitted toButlins is that I used to work in these places when I worked in psychiatric nursing years ago, and it feels weird being on the other side - not having keys to the medication cupboard, not being able to walk into the office, and not being able to let one of the patients in when they're standing barefoot in the snow outside, banging on the door which can't be opened because the staff are "on a break".

My friend is coming over next week, having been away my flat is a f*cking tip so I've suggested she brings her pop up tent.

As usual I have permission to share other people's stories.

Link - just in case, click below|category_root|Sports+and+leisure|14419152/c_2/2|14419152|Camping|14419397/c_3/3|cat_14419397|Tents|14419414.htm

The "happiness" debate

Yesterday a friend asked me if I was happy and it sparked off a bit of a debate (with myself). Is happiness actually happiness as we all know it? Or is it customised to us individually? 
Some of us experience (apparent) happiness, as contentment, believing this is happiness, whilst others have to experience euphoria before they can convince themselves this is happiness. Some people locate happiness with just having the giggles, or tranquility, or by buzzing from things such as booze, drugs, sex, shopping sprees etc.. 
Then I thought about mania, and mixed episodes, because both are states of mind present in bipolar episodes where extreme highs (which many people who have yet to understand bipolar sometimes assume is happiness, because on the outside we can portray over-excitement, hyperactivity, impulsivity and often “buzz”. 
So, I tried to recall a time when I was, what I thought was “happy”, and it was oddly a bit of a struggle. Yes I laugh a lot, but usually at dark stuff or when I’m (ahem) tipsy. When I was in comedy I found I wrote my funniest material when I was down, and stand up gives the illusion that we’re having a laugh all the time. 
“Yes of course I’m happy” I tell him. 
Apparently the biggest lie the British tell is when we’re asked “Are you OK?” and we answer “Fine”, which leads me to believe that we fool eachother that we’re OK when we’re not, so maybe, we pretend to be happier than we are. Draining as it can be we think we’re better company when we’re “happy”. Which is possibly why the British drinking culture is as it is, however, on a nine month stint on the wagon I was actually at my “happiest” or so I thought, it was as though I was still drunk and people often thought I was, until I was whisked to the funny farm (blind folded). Turns out my “happiest” was probably my worst!
I haven’t been keeping up with which is naughty especially since they sent me a lovely email saying they loved my blog following the Tape the top forty post, but give it a go because it works it out for you!